Hiking the Panorama and Mist Trails, Yosemite National Park

On July 5, Jordan and I took the one-way shuttle from Yosemite Lodge to Glacier Point to hike the Panorama Trail.

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We began hiking around 11am. The trail switchbacks down into the valley, with gorgeous views every step of the way. I’ve never experienced anything like it.

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Jordan GoProing inside an old Redwood

IMG_2969 The hike itself wasn’t challenging at all. The Panorama It turned out being a lot longer than we thought because it connects with the Mist Trail, which adds on about 2.5 miles, passing by two large waterfalls.

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fantastic views of half dome the entire hike

 

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We had to descend so many narrow stairs on the Mist Trail. At one point it was single-file and took quite a while to get down because it was so crowded.

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Back down in the Valley

It took us about 5.5 hours to hike the 10.6 miles total. At the end of the the Mist Trail, the shuttle picked us up and drove us back to Yosemite Lodge. Time for dinner! This hike was awe-inspiring. I’ve never seen anything so beautiful. I felt so small. It was an amazing feeling to be able to hike in such an incredible place.

Capture

Panorama Trail and Mist Trail from Glacier Point
10.6 mi RT
5 hrs, 40 min
1,438′ elevation

Fourth of July at Yosemite National Park

On July 4, we left San Francisco and arrived at Yosemite National Park!

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Our first stop upon entering the park was the infamous Tunnel View. It was incredible to finally see this view in person.

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It doesn’t even look real! Shortly after we checked in to our room. We were staying right in the park at Yosemite Lodge! We got there around 3pm, which was an unfortunate time because there was NO parking. Jordan and I circled the car around until we eventually found a spot (45 min later…) and got settled. Our lodge had an unbelievable view of Upper Yosemite Falls. It was just incredible.

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Jordan and I decided to explore a little bit and walked a short trail near our lodge to the Yosemite Falls.

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Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls

I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend the Fourth of July!

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There are so many places to hike in Yosemite, it’s overwhelming. I had done some research and decided the best hike for Jordan and I was the Panorama trail. It was on the longer side (~10 miles) with some amazing views. That was on our agenda for the following day. We were taking a one-way shuttle (about $25 per person) to Glacier Point and our plan was to hike the Panorama trail back down to Yosemite Valley taking the Mist Trail passing by Vernal and Nevada Falls. My parents took the round-trip shuttle at the same time. Both shuttles departed Yosemite Lodge at 8:30am and went to Glacier Point.

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a great view of Half Dome on the left

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The Panorama Trail begins at Glacier Point. It was one of the best hiking experiences I’ve ever had. To be continued….

Trying Poki and visiting the San Francisco Botanical Garden

After hiking Muir Woods and checking out Fort Point, Jordan and I went to get dinner. His friend had told us we had to try Poki while we were in SF, so we took an Uber to Poki Time. I had never heard of Poki before. It’s basically raw fish salad. Kind of like a Chipotle for sashimi.

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I got mine with salmon and tuna, along with mango, carrots, seaweed salad, brown rice and dressing. It was delicious!

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After dinner we wandered around and came upon the San Francisco Botanical Garden. We decided to pay the $6 and go in and check it out. Turns out, it was huge.

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There were so many interesting and unique plants there! Take this upside-down flower tree, for example.

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We explored the gardens for about an hour. It was nice because since it was late, we had the whole place to ourselves.  After we took another Uber to Chinatown to get a drink.

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From there, we decided to walk back to our hotel on Lombard Street. It was a workout.

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The next morning before heading out we stopped to see the Painted Ladies. This was on my to-do list because I grew up watching Full House and have probably seen every episode multiple times.

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We only had two nights in San Francisco. There was a lot more I wanted to see and do, which means I’ll just have to go back. From what I did see, it was pretty awesome.

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the view from our hotel room

But it was time for our next stop,Yosemite National Park.

Visiting San Francisco and Hiking at Muir Woods National Monument

I just got back from the best trip ever. For the past 12 days, I was in California, Nevada and Utah. It was incredible. I want to recap the major parts of my trip here because I saw some amazing things and want to share. I’ll start with the first few days that we spent in the Bay Area. My parents pretty much planned the trip and Jordan and I went along. I suggested some spots to see because there were many places I wanted to check out while on the trip.

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On the afternoon we arrived, we decided to walk up Lombard Street, SF’s most famous street.
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There were so many people driving down it, they had cops directing the tourists. Crazy. Don’t attempt to drive down Lombard Street mid-afternoon unless you want to wait in a line, in your car. Just walk it!

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Running in this city would give anyone a great workout. Wow!

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Later in that evening, Jordan and I took our first ever Uber Ride to Baker Beach. (This just in…Uber is life-changing.)

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It was chilly, but nice.  The next day we got up early and drove over the Golden Gate Bridge to Muir Woods National Monument.

Protip: Get to Muir Woods EARLY. The parking lot fills FAST. The gates open at 8:00AM. Get there at 7:30.

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I had researched the best hikes to do at Muir Woods and found one that connected a bunch of trails for a nice loop, the Canopy View / Redwood / Sun / Dipsea Trails Loop. This was nice because it wasn’t packed with tourists. It was gorgeous and offered varied scenery throughout. I was walking the trail while thinking about how if it wasn’t for John Muir, the father of conservation, national parks and places like Muir Woods wouldn’t exist!

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Here I also saw my first Redwood Tree. Love!

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The fog was rolling through.

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My parents walking behind us on the trail

The Dipsea trail is also the location of a big trail race! It is the oldest trail race in the US. We came upon Mile Marker 2 on our hike.

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It took us about 2 hours and 45 minutes hours to finish the entire loop, including stops. It was a great start to the trip. Little did I know, the hiking would only get better from here.

We stopped at Muir Beach Overlook on the way out.

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Driving back over the GGB

We also stopped at Fort Point National Historic Site, located right under the bridge.

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According to the NPS, Fort Point defended the San Francisco Bay following California’s Gold Rush through World War II.

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And that was the beginning of our trip-stay tuned for more!

Paddling in the ADK

My parents have taken up paddling. They recently got a nice red canoe.  It’s awesome. Last Friday they asked me to join them on a paddling adventure up in the Adirondacks. Of course I said yes! Their canoe is pretty big and can fit three people, so I sat up in front. We put in at Ticonderoga’s Bicentennial Park and paddled down the La Chute river to Lake Champlain.

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It was the most perfect day to be out on the water. Thankfully my parents have a friend who knows where all the good spots are and could show us how to get around! It was a lot of fun to spend quality time with them. We stopped for lunch by the Ticonderoga Ferry and then  estimated that we paddled about 8 miles total.